Welcome! Like the book of the same name, this blog is an eclectic collection of Sherlockian scribblings based on more than a half-century of reading Sherlock Holmes. Please add your own thoughts. You can also follow me on Twitter @DanAndriacco and on my Facebook fan page at Dan Andriacco Mysteries. You might also be interested in my Amazon Author Page. My books are also available at Barnes & Noble and in all main electronic formats including Kindle, Nook, Kobo and iBooks for the iPad.

Friday, July 22, 2011

A Fast, Fun Read for Your Summer

I approached Dicky Neely and Paul R. Spiring's The Case of the Grave Accusation with some hesitation, but it's a fast, fun read.

The basis of this short novel is a wacko charge made about a decade ago that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle stole the plot of The Hound of the Baskervilles from fellow writer Bertram Fletcher Robinson, committed adultery with his wife, and then convinced the wife to poison the poor man.

According to one description I read of the book, Holmes and Watson solve the case "with the help of a little time travel." I didn't find the notion appealing, but that's not what the story is about. Rather, Holmes and Watson are presented as fictional characters who emerge in the 21st Century from a literary limbo in order to preserve their reputations and that of their creator.

Although Dick Neely regards this as a pastiche, I look at it as being something of a different genre -- maybe closer to a newspaper columnist having fun with fictional characters to comment on the events of the day.

The fun in this tale comes, as you might expect, from the expected "fish out of water" scenes, such as Holmes posing as a cable TV repairman to get information. I also liked Wiggins and his "Baker Street posse." The cartoonish drawings that accompany the words are charming and often funny.

Actual proof of Conan Doyle's innocence is quite thin in the story. A 12-page scholarly appendix, however, offers more than enough proof to any fair-minded person that Sir ACD was no plagiarist.

The weakest points of the book are the relatively limited use Holmes and Watson make of the computer, compared to its potential, and the punctuation throughout.

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